6 lakes register 30% June-Aug rain deficit
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While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is still mulling over when to carry out artificial precipitation through cloud-seeding, rainfall has been eluding the catchment areas of the lakes supplying water to the city. The total seasonal rainfall received by the six lakes from June 1-August 26 is 29.6 per cent less than rainfall in the same period last year. During the same period, the deviation in Mumbai city has been much more, with Santacruz recording 49 per cent and Colaba recording 63 per cent less rainfall this year as against last year.
Accordingly, the availability of water is 22 per cent less as compared to the same day last year. This difference would have been 26 per cent had it not been for the newly-sanctioned Middle Vaitarna Dam that has added 59,579 million litres to the total availability in the season so far. Officials from the hydraulic engineering department said completion of the seventh dam comes at the right time for the civic body.
Total rainfall from June 1 to August 26 in the Modaksagar, Tansa, Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna lakes (situated outside Mumbai limits) along with the Tulsi and Vihar lakes is 8913.2 mm this year as compared to 12,471.4 mm last year. Similarly, the current availability of water is 8,94,537 million liters as compared to 1104608 million litres on the same day in 2011 and 1132290 million litres in 2010.
Ramesh Bambale, hydraulic engineer, BMC, said the availability has to reach a total of at least 1350000 million litres at the end of the monsoon season for normal supply till the next monsoon. The civic body has imposed 10 per cent water cut across the city to deal with the crises. "At present, there are no discussions on the need to increase the water cut. We are hoping that rainfall in the lakes will catch up during September," said Bambale.
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